Should you choose prospecting or blogging for lead generation? I suggest you should do both.
Because they complement each other, with each providing a different function.
Blogging attracts people who are searching the Internet, looking for homes or researching agents to determine who might do the best job selling their homes.
It also attracts people who want information about your community or advice on how to proceed when buying or selling under different circumstances.
For instance, they may want advice about selling during a divorce, selling during probate, or buying a home on the Historic Register. For every niche in real estate there is specialized information to share.
The more useful information you share, the more likely it is that an Internet search will bring those buyers and sellers to you. Do remember to use good SEO.
Prospecting puts you and your services directly in front of people who are searching on line AND those who haven’t yet made the decision to buy or sell. While postal prospecting is usually aimed at sellers, email prospecting is valuable for holding on to both buyers and sellers who may be visiting multiple sites in their search.
Prospecting or blogging for lead generation both offer short-term and long-term benefits.
Blogging will attract those prospects who are likely to act in the near future. And, by blogging consistently, you’re increasing your odds of being found on the search engines. By linking back and forth between your blog posts and your static web pages, you’re increasing it even more.
Email prospecting keeps you top-of-mind with buyers and sellers who have visited your website and opted in by asking for a special report, setting up search parameters, or checking their home’s value.
Some of those people are ready to act, and some may be a few months from making a decision. Either way, emailing them regularly with good information and advice will put you ahead of your competition. Keep offering good advice and tips until they’re ready to find a home – with YOU as their agent.
Postal prospecting is short-term or long-term depending upon your target prospect.
When you’re prospecting to homeowners who have received a notice of default, it’s short-term. They need to act quickly. The same might be true for divorcing couples, those handling probate real estate, absentee owners, and the owners of vacant rental properties. They may not need to act immediately, but might want to.
When you’re prospecting to a geographic area that you want to make your own, you might hit on a few homeowners who are ready now, but for the most part it is a long-term endeavor. You’re setting yourself up to be the agent everyone thinks of when they’re ready to sell. You can start with prospecting letters, then stay in touch with newsletters, market reports, just listed/just sold letters, etc. You can enhance your position by being visible in the neighborhood. Attend their neighborhood meetings and celebrations, buy something at their yard sales, stop for lunch at their local coffee shops, etc.
The same is true if you’re prospecting to snowbirds, seniors who may want to relocate in the future, and empty-nesters.
Consistent postal prospecting sets the stage for you to be the agent they think of when they do get the notion – or when friends and family talk about real estate. If you’ve done a good job, they’ll have a good feeling about you.
In other words, postal prospecting sets up an awareness, and a trust in you, long before homeowners have thought about needing your services.
Use postal prospecting to gain more web visitors.
The more people read the advice on your static web pages and your blog posts, the more they’ll realize that you are the agent they want and need. So use your prospecting letters to invite them to your website. Direct them to specific pages whenever possible.
If you’re using one of my many prospecting letter sets, simply add a P.S. with a message such as “For more information about ______, visit (page or post on your site.)”
Use email prospecting with care – don’t spam!
If you use email, you have no doubt received “prospecting” letters from companies who want you to use their services or allow them to provide guest posts for your blog. Often, these people write two or three times, then send a message asking why you have not responded to their emails. They practically demand a response.
You have to wonder who is coaching these fools, because after that demanding message, you likely wouldn’t respond even if you had become interested.
Unsolicited email is called spam for a reason.
The reason is that most of us don’t want it and get far too much of it, so don’t use email unless the recipient has opted in to receive your messages. For instance, by leaving their contact information in a form on your website.
These are people who are already showing an interest in your services, simply by visiting your website. They’re the same people who may have found your static pages or blog posts via a search.
The exception: If you’re writing to a business, you could send an inquiry, asking if they accept guest blog posts. But remember that they’re under no obligation to reply. So don’t pester them if they don’t respond. I’m guessing that if you’re polite, they will respond, even if it’s to say no.
My conclusion: Don’t choose between prospecting or blogging for real estate leads.
Use both, because both have a place and a purpose.